We arrived at Auckland airport at 4.30am to be greeted by some very friendly (yes friendly) and polite customs officials who washed my hiking boots for me. We are lucky enough to have friends staying in Auckland who came and picked us up from the airport at that ridiculous hour of the day and then put us up in their flat for five days. It was so nice to see some friendly faces and have people to hang out with from home.
Our first day in Auckland was spent relaxing with Elle, going to the local butchers and veg shop and then having afternoon drinks and then a few more drinks and then having Elle cook us a lovely roast dinner with lots of roast potatoes, yum!
The next few days were spent sightseeing wandering around Auckland, going to the massive museum and Rangitoto Island, Davenport and the aquarium where we saw giant stingrays. I even went to the art gallery to see a Rita Angus exhibition on my own which was weird after spending every waking (and sleeping) moment with David for 4 months. He was in the internet café swearing at a computer so I´m sure that he enjoyed his time alone too. The evenings were spent chilling and enjoying home-cooked food. We were also introduced to the food court which gets you your choice of delicious Asian food at a bargain price. Anyway that´s enough about food.
We were both really surprised by Auckland and thought that it was a really nice city as far as cities go but we may have been swayed by the baked beans, English mustard, Bisto gravy, proper cheese and last but not least MARMITE! (Can you tell I like food). Oh and we also saw a naked couple in a fire engine which helped.
We got the campervan last Saturday (I wanted to name it but David will only call it rude words). We are coping alright so far, It is nice to be able to unpack but I hate having to make and unmake the bed every morning and night. Also emptying the wee box is a bit of a drawback but less disgusting than you are imagining.
We have stayed in some stunning locations even though we have only been in the far North. My personal favourite was Pakiri beach, white sand, blue skies and vino, lovely. In fact, judging by what we have seen so far, New Zealand is an amazingly beautiful country (can´t wait to see the South Island). Other highlights of the road trip include: David herding and me shearing a sheep (at Sheepworld, I kid you not, it´s a whole world of sheep and sheep based products), scratching a pigs tummy, seeing some dolphins in the Bay of Islands. The low points: Staying in a slightly backwards caravan site where I thought we were going to get chopped up and eaten.
Anyway tomorrow we truck on to Hamilton and beyond.
Sian (and David) xxx